In an announcement at Parliament’s opening ceremony for the 3rd legislative session, President Erdoğan announced that the EU needs to grant Turkey full membership if it wants to make a ‘leap forward in launching an economic and cultural expansion initiative’.
Erdoğan criticized the Bloc for delaying the country’s accession and for its failure to cooperate with Turkey on a number of issues.
‘In reality, we actually no longer need EU membership, but, if the EU wants to make a leap forward, then there is only one way and that is by granting Turkey full membership’ adding that ‘Turkey will be ‘happy to contribute to the Bloc’s future’.
Criticizing the lack of support from EU states against terror group activities across European cities, Erdoğan said that it had been a great disappointment for Turkey not to have the EU by its side in counter-terrorism.
Erdoğan continued by saying it will not matter for Turkey if the EU does not grant the country membership and that the country will continue to proceed as usual.
Turkey-EU ties were first established in 1959 and the framework for membership was established in the Ankara Agreement of 1963. Turkey officially applied for European Economic Community membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005. However, negotiations hit a stalemate in 2007, primarily because of disagreements on the Cyprus issue. In recent years, a number of countries have voiced opposition to full membership, including Germany and France.
At present, only 16 policy chapters have been opened (out of a total of 35) since negotiations began 54 years ago. The latest – Chapter 33 – which relates to financial and budgetary provisions – was opened only in the most recent accession talks.